MINDEN, La. - Today, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) honored fallen hero Sergeant Joshua Tomlinson at a dedication ceremony naming the interchange at I-20 and La. 531 as the Sergeant Joshua Tomlinson Interchange. DOTD Assistant Secretary of Operations Rhett Desselle was joined by members of Sgt. Tomlinson’s family along with state and local officials for the ceremonial dedication.
Sgt. Tomlinson, a Dubberly native, was killed in active duty on May 18, 2010, while serving during Operation Enduring Freedom. Dedicating the interchange to Sgt. Tomlinson will recognize the sacrifice he made for his country as well as the State of Louisiana. The memorial interchange, initiated by House Bill 486, was authored by Representative Gene Reynolds.
“I am honored to be here as we come together on a day that immortalizes our freedom as Americans. The dedication of the I-20 and La. 531 interchange is a fitting honor as it memorializes and recognizes the ongoing price Americans pay for our liberty,” said Desselle.
"This sign, memorializing a portion of I-20, reminds us of Sgt. Joshua Tomlinson's commitment to his country. It is our duty to honor Josh and all of our fallen veterans by remembering what they did and why they did it. A good soldier does not fight because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him. On this historic day in American history, may we never forget those who have fought for our freedom and the loved ones left behind," said Senator Robert Adley.
Representative Gene Reynolds said, "Sgt. Josh Tomlinson was a student at Lakeside High School, where I was principal. He will always be that student with a smile and character that we would like from all our children. We now honor Sgt. Josh Tomlinson for his service and sacrifice with this tribute that will keep his memory alive forever."
“I would like to thank the Tomlinson family for their sacrifice,” said Steve Lemmons, Webster Parish Police Juror. “I believe that this dedication is a great way to say we have not forgotten.”
Minden Mayor Joe Cornelius, Sr. expressed, “Sgt. Joshua A. Tomlinson proudly served his country as a member of the United States Army. We pause on this day to pay respect to a young man who was willing to sacrifice his life to protect his country. This dedication will honorably serve as a daily reminder of Sgt. Tomlinson’s remarkable life and service to our country.”
“Josh was more than just a soldier; he was a son, husband and father. This dedication is a reminder of Josh’s accomplishments and is a tribute to his life,” said Carl Tomlinson, father of Sgt. Joshua Tomlinson.
Sgt. Tomlinson was one of five soldiers killed in the line of duty as a result of a car bomb explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan. Tomlinson was only 24 years old when he passed away. After graduating from Lakeside High School in 2004, he joined the Army in 2005, and was stationed in Heidelberg, Germany.